April saw the annual pilgrimage to Birmingham for the Commercial Vehicle Show 2019. Lots of manufacturers, lots of visitors, and lots of new and updated vans to consider for your next van lease.
And one obvious clue as to the direction the humble van is heading.
Citroen took the opportunity to show off its full model line-up, focusing on the new Berlingo small van but throwing the Dispatch medium van and Relay large van into the mix too. Like many of the manufacturers attending there was much emphasis on alternative fuel and Citroen's contribution was the new electric Relay large van.
The electric Relay will be available in a number of length and roof height combinations and its 44kWh battery pack should give it a range of around 100-140 miles per charge. The electric motor only offers the equivalent of 96bhp and the top speed is limited to 55mph to extend the range. It doesn't sound much for a van but that doesn't stop it carrying a 1,215kg payload.
Sister brand Peugeot also showed its new electric model, the Boxer Electric. Peugeot says it wants to see all its vehicles offered with an electrified variant by 2023. The vehicle on display was an L1H1 435 panel van which will be produced at the Sevel plant in Val di Sangro, Italy and converted by partner BD Auto.
Ford was showcasing its facelifted Transit large van for the first time in the UK. The display included all the technical advances in the revised model and a live demo of the new automatic parking function.
It's essentially the same as the current Transit on the surface - apart from the new look grille and headlights - but under the skin is a different story. Thanks to key weight savings in its construction the payload has increased by up to 80kg; the updated 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel offers improved fuel economy; there's more power from a range-topping 185bhp engine; an all-new interior with extra storage and a built-in 4G modem for improved connectivity; and a 10-speed automatic gearbox option on rear-wheel drive models. No electric version as yet but there is a 48v Mild Hybrid diesel option that offers further efficiency savings.
LDV took everyone by surprise with a new small electric van, the EV 30. LDV already produces the larger EV 80 electric van so introducing a smaller version isn't that surprising. The big twist is that they will not be making a diesel version at all. It's electric. Or nothing.
The EV 30 is actually sized in between a small and medium van and will come in two body lengths, 4.5m and 5.1m. Loading capacity is quoted as 5.0 cubic metres and 6.3 cubic metres respectively. That means the smaller version will carry 750kg and the larger up to 1.0 tonne. It will be fitted with an 85kW motor generating around 115bhp and come with two battery options, 35kWh and 55kWh. The smaller battery should see you through 127 miles while the larger claims a range of over 200 miles.
Toyota also revealed a brand new compact van, the Proace City, although it isn't strictly a new van as it's the Toyota version of the new platform that's already on sale as the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo Cargo. That's good news as they are among the best small vans on the market.
As with the others, the Proace City comes in two different wheelbases and body lengths, the short-wheelbase version is 4.4m in length, the long-wheelbase is 4.7m. Payload is rated up to 1.0 tonne and towing capacity at 1.5 tonnes. Both are available with three front seats, while the long version can also be configured as a crew van as well as a panel van. The Proace City will come with a choice of petrol and diesel engines offering between 75bhp and 130bhp and either a five or six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.
Arguably the biggest news of the 2019 CV Show was the all-new Vauxhall Vivaro, which made its global début as Vauxhall returned to the event for the first time since 2015.
The new Vivaro is based on the same platform as the aforementioned Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Toyota Proace.
The new Vivaro comes in two lengths and three body styles, and promises considerable improvements in payload and towing capacity over the outgoing model. The new Vivaro comes in three bodystyles - Panel van, Double cab and Chassis cab - and offers a maximum payload in excess of 1,400kg, 200kg more than the outgoing version. There's also a clever through-bulkhead that increases the maximum loading length too.
The Vivaro can be fitted with a choice of 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre diesel engines offering between 100bhp and 180bhp. All versions meet the latest Euro 6D emissions standards and fuel economy ranges from 60.8mpg in 120bhp 1.5-litre guise to 53.0mpg in the range-topping 180bhp 2.0-litre. There will also be a fully-electric Vauxhall Vivaro on sale some time in 2020.
The new Vivaro also offers lots of high-tech bells and whistles including power-sliding doors, clever IntelliGrip traction control and a head-up display, and it has the highest standard spec Vauxhall has ever offered on the Vivaro.
Before you decide to lease the new Vivaro you'll need to decide on one of three trim levels: Edition, Sportive and Elite - Elite being the range-topping trim introduced to reflect changes in the medium van market that are seeing increasing demand for comfort and luxury.
Standard equipment includes DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, cruise control and speed limiter, electric windows and mirrors, and remote locking. Highlights from the other trim levels include touchscreen infotainment system, air-con, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, LED daytime running lights, driver drowsiness alert, and Sat-Nav. You can also specify head up display, adaptive cruise control, and a rear view parking camera from the options list.
With prices starting from just over £21k the new Vauxhall Vivaro is likely to prove popular. Even the range-topping Elite version comes in at £25,540 and you do get an awful lot of kit for that money. It's a little bit more expensive than the other vans it shares a platform with but it does offer a bit more equipment.
Of course, when you're leasing that has less of an impact so give us a call with your requirements and we'll line you up with a brand new van for your business.
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